Recently, Bishop Desmond Tutu spoke up saying that the Anglican Church in Africa should do more to confront injustice in Zimbabwe and Darfur. You can’t help but admire the way that Bishop Tutu has spoken up for the oppressed over the years and taken sides which are politically unfashionable in his home country. He opposed apartheid and now he is condemning the Zimbabwean government which would not survive were it not for South African support.
However, I have to take issue with some of what the good bishop is reported to have said:
Archbishop Desmond Tutu has called on Africa’s Anglican church to overcome its “obsession” with the issue of gay priests and same-sex marriages. (from the BBC)
My struggle with this is that it is not the African churches which are going on about gay priests. If the more liberal churches in the US and UK would stop trying to foist gay priests upon the Anglican church against the teaching of Scripture and the long tradition of the church, then the African church would not even need to comment on it. It’s not African churches which are obsessed with this issue, it’s the churches in the West.
But more than that, it’s also the BBC. Bishop Tutu’s comments were the second item in the national news on BBC Radio yesterday morning. There is an awful lot happening in the UK and worldwide at the moment, and yet the words of an African bishop speaking about African problems took precedence. How often does that happen? African bishops speak about all sorts of things all the time, but don’t get picked up by the BBC’s domestic services. I suspect the issue here is that Bishop Tutu was saying something that went along with the unwritten agenda of the BBC to promote homosexuality. Why else would they pick up on this speech. Interestingly enough the the Bishop clearly spoke on a wide range of subjects, the BBC chose only to highlight the issue of homosexuality. Just who is obsessed about this issue?
Normally I would be delighted to hear more about what church leaders are saying in Africa but it seems that the BBC will only broadcast them when they are supporting the BBC’s own agenda – and then suddenly African Christians are front page news.